30th Sunday of Ordinary Time
This Sunday we read in the Gospel Reading about Bartimaeus the blind man. There are so many forms of blindness apart from the physical blindness which is an awful thing in itself. There is also another blindness that so many seeing people have and that spiritual blindness . Blindness is terrifying. Darkness brings all our terrors before the minds eye. Not being able to see where we are going is the stuff of most human fears. The poverty and blindness of Bartimaeus speak to any human being of feeling and, indeed, if there is someone to whom it does not speak, then that person probably would have no time for religion or things of the spirit as she/he would be insensitive to promptings in our imagination that lead us to faith.
We live in a world of blindness. There is the blindness of world leaders who press forward policies that are so short-term that we have whole regions that simmer with unrest such as the Middle East. We have blindness that prevents us seeing how policies create injustice and stop development. We have the blindness that sees global warming yet refuses to take action in time. In our own localities we have blind-spots. blind spots about what is really of value in a society that has so much. In our own lives we can find blindness to those around us, blindness to the community, blindness to the needs of those who need us young and old. Blindness can be a great help in avoiding awkward questions of conscience. We are called to be seeing people, people who look at the world with eyes of faith and are not afraid to help others with their blindness. Seeing, however, isn’t limited to seeing the blue of the sky or the road to home. It is also a matter of seeing the truth about ourselves which we dont often want to know about.
And so in the Gospel Jesus gives Bartimaeus all that he asks for. Bartimaeus sees not only the world around him but also his Lord. And in seeing Jesus, Bartimaeus accepts the Giver with the gift of sight that is eyesight and more especially spiritual sight. As Jesus healed this blind man because he wanted so desperately to see, He will heal all of us who long to be cured of our spiritual blindness. When we ask in faith, Jesus will give us His vision for ourselves and for our world.